Conditioned Suppression as an Animal Psychophysical Technique

  • James Smith


The purpose of this chapter is to describe and evaluate the conditioned suppression technique for the measurement of sensory thresholds in animals. Conditioned suppression was described by Estes and Skinner in 1941, but the technique was not used in animal psychophysics until recently. In a conditioned suppression experiment, a warning stimulus, which is terminated with a brief unavoidable electric shock, is superimposed on a baseline of ongoing lever pressing or key pecking independent of any responding by the animal. Conditioned suppression has, then, the advantages of aversive control while the ongoing behavior of the animal is being maintained on a positive reinforcement schedule.


Rhesus Monkey Olfactory Bulb Suppression Ratio Conditioned Suppression Critical Flicker Fusion 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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